Parking on Opening Day can be a nightmare. Here's why and how to avoid the hassle.
CLEVELAND -- You have your Tribe gear ready.
You have your glove, your umbrella for rain and money for food.
You're all set for the Indians' 2014 home opener at Progressive Field. But one question remains, do you have your parking spot?
Parking in pay lots near Progressive Field
Parking on Opening Day can be a nightmare. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Friday -- just shy of an hour before rush hour traffic begins.
People who work downtown may have already grabbed parking spaces in lots around the field. And if you are lucky enough to get your car, truck or van near the ballpark, it could cost you $20 to park. That's the same going price of filling your gas tank with six gallons of fuel.
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Our viewers added their recommendations to the Opening Day Parking discussion on Twitter and Facebook. The conclusion: If you want to find affordable parking in a pay lot, you will not be able to park very close to Progressive Field. Many fans recommend parking in lots near Cleveland State University.
For those of you who think you can grab a spot on the street for free. Think again. Remember, Opening Day is a work day. Cleveland Police will restrict parking at meters around the ballpark.
If you do find a meter; technically, it's illegal to continue to feed a meter throughout the day. You are supposed to leave the meter once the maximum time limit expires.
If you are caught parking illegally, you can expect to be towed with a fee of at least $139.72. This is the "cheapest" price quoted to WKYC from the Cleveland Impound Unit.
Oh, and let's not forget about the orange barrels. Not only does April bring baseball and showers, it also brings construction. There are multiple construction projects on the way into and out of downtown. The WKYC traffic team has a detailed list of the construction projects impacting the drive on the WKYC Traffic/Construction blog.
So what is a fan to do?
Any baseball fan would be happy to catch a foul ball but no one wants to catch a foul attitude due to parking problems.
Indians Communications Coordinator, Joel Hammond, recommends those coming to the game should leave early or take public transportation to Progressive Field. The RTA has buses and rapids coming into downtown throughout the day. An all-day pass is $5 for one person, $4 for students and $2.50 for seniors, those who are disabled and children. Check the RTA website for details on planning your commute.
There is also a special section of the Indians' website dedicated to planning the drive to Progressive Field. You can find it at Indians.com/PlanYourTrip.